TREMONT TEMPLE UPDATE | NOVEMBER 22, 2013
Thanks to your help, Tremont Temple Baptist Church at 860 Forsyth St. was granted a temporary stay from demolition. We have a lot of work left to do if we want to save this important historic building. Join Historic Macon to help Save Tremont Temple by taking our online pledge to do whatever you can to help.
Click here to take the Save Tremont Pledge!
We have also added information to our Current Projects page where you can stay up to date on developments with our campaign to save Tremont.
HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Historic Macon Foundation has presented an offer to the congregation matching the developer's offer. The Trustees of Historic Macon have authorized an immediate closing. The offer is not contingent on retaining the windows, steps or pews, although we would prefer those items be left in place. The congregation could net the same sales proceeds and receive that money sooner by accepting Historic Macon's offer instead of selling for demolition.
Historic Macon's policy is to encourage private development, not prevent it. We have always expected that a preservation-minded developer would purchase and rehabilitate Tremont, since demolition is prohibited. The purchase price was prohibitively high during the recession, but the current contract price makes it attractive for redevelopment.
A freestanding Dunkin Donuts would reduce the building size 85% (from 12,000sf to 1,800sf), and certainly is not the highest and best use for the site even from an economic perspective. Reuse of the current structure with multiple tenants would have higher employment, larger payrolls, maximize lot usage and have a higher taxable value to fund schools and government.
There are over 6,000 buildings in Macon listed on the National Register like Tremont Temple. That is why we worked to institute design controls that prevent demolition of the most important of these buildings, and Tremont has been protected by these laws since 2001. Only about 1/3 of Macon's National Register buildings are protected from demolition, meaning these controls already are limited to our most important buildings and need to be enforced. Historic buildings are what make Macon distinctive and we need to save the most important structures, including Tremont. Demolition prevention is proactive, and protects the rights of future generations to enjoy inheriting our architectural history.
Historic Macon will assume all the risk for stabilizing the building and recruiting partners to develop the building for sustainable economic use.
The property is under a binding contract with the developer who has promised to demolish the building. The only way the congregation will have the option of accepting Historic Macon's equal offer will be if the demolition permit is denied. We need your help to ensure the demolition permit is denied, and we will close immediately afterwards, as soon as the next day.
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
Write a letter to Planning and Zoning, especially if you represent an organization, congregation or company- Download a template here
Send an Email to Jim Thomas, Executive Director of the Macon-Bibb Planning & Zoning Commission- Email Jim
Attend the Design Review Board meeting on December 2, 2013 at 2pm on the 10th floor of the Willie C. Hill Annex 682 Cherry St. Sign in to opposed demolition of Tremont.
Attend the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting on December 9, 2013 at 1:30pm on the 10th floor of the Willie C. Hill Annex 682 Cherry St. Sign in to opposed demolition of Tremont.
Take our online pledge- Click here to pledge
If you have questions or concerns, you can contact me directly. My email address is below. Personally, I am a very practical and pragmatic preservationist. You can trust that when I ask for your help, I truly believe that saving this building is the right thing to do, is physically possible and is economically viable. We need to save Tremont, and I hope you will help.
Josh Rogers, Executive Director